As Atlanta divorce lawyers we are frequently asked about why people get divorced. How come, people ask, half of all Georgia marriages end in divorce. Since half of all Georgia marriages end in divorce, some after many years of seeming bliss, we thought we’d put some thoughts on paper. Divorce is a deeply personal and life-altering decision, and understanding the reasons behind it can provide valuable insights into the complexities of human relationships. Individuals seek divorce for various reasons, influenced by both personal factors and the specific laws governing the dissolution of marriages. In this blog post, we will explore some of the common reasons people seek divorce in Georgia, shedding light on the unique dynamics of divorce law in the state.
- Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage
One of the most common grounds for divorce in Georgia is an "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage." This no-fault ground recognizes that the marriage has broken down beyond repair, and there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation. It acknowledges that the relationship has reached a point where continuing it would be detrimental to both parties involved. This is when people just can’t get along; oftentimes a marriage breaks down slowly over a period of years.
- Adultery and Infidelity
Infidelity can be a significant factor leading to divorce in Georgia. Adultery occurs when a spouse engages in sexual relations outside of the marriage without the consent of the other spouse. While Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that a party does not have to prove fault to obtain a divorce, adultery can still impact certain aspects of the divorce, such as property division and alimony. Many people are caught cheating through their computer or smart phone. There can be incriminating pictures and text messages. Some people are caught seeing escorts, paying call girls or other prostitutes, or they may be busted by a spouse who finds them on a dating website like Ashley Madison or a “sugar daddy” website.
- Substance Abuse and Addiction
Substance abuse and addiction can strain even the strongest of marriages. When one spouse struggles with drug or alcohol dependency, it can lead to a breakdown in trust, financial instability, and emotional turmoil. These challenges often become insurmountable, driving couples to seek divorce in order to protect their own well-being and that of any children involved, who could be injured or neglected by an alcoholic or drug addicted parent. Many people have alcohol issues and use illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, LSD, and marijuana. Even prescription drugs like opioids can become addictive and can lead to serious marital troubles.
- Domestic Violence and Abuse
Instances of domestic violence and abuse create an unsafe environment within a marriage, threatening the physical and emotional well-being of the victim and any children. In Georgia, victims of domestic violence can seek protective orders to ensure their safety. Divorce becomes a necessary step to escape the cycle of abuse and establish a new life free from harm. It is not uncommon for domestic violence to play a part in divorce. The violence can take the form of hitting or throwing things at the other party; it can also involve the use of weapons.
- Financial Issues and Incompatibility
Financial strain and incompatibility can lead to significant marital discord. Disagreements over financial management, differing financial goals, or substantial debt can erode the foundation of a marriage. When couples find themselves unable to resolve these issues and see no path to financial stability together, divorce may be seen as the best solution for both parties' long-term well-being. Sometimes a party runs up big credit card debts, loses a lot of money gambling, has a business that fails, makes bad investments in things like cryptocurrencies, stocks, or bonds, or simply overspends the household budget.
- Lack of Communication and Growing Apart
A breakdown in communication and emotional disconnection can slowly erode the intimacy and connection within a marriage. Over time, couples may find themselves growing apart, with little shared interests or meaningful communication. When attempts at reconciliation and therapy fail to bridge the gap, divorce can become a necessary step to allow both individuals to seek happiness and fulfillment separately. Sometimes people really don’t communicate for weeks or even months or years at a time. It can seem like there is no communication whatsoever in a marriage.
Divorce is a complex and deeply personal decision, influenced by a myriad of factors unique to each individual and couple. In Georgia, the dissolution of marriages is governed by specific divorce laws, including the recognition of irretrievable breakdown, consideration of fault-based grounds such as adultery, and the impact of issues like substance abuse and domestic violence. When you need a local divorce lawyer, we're here for you. Understanding the reasons behind divorce in Georgia provides valuable insights into the challenges couples face and underscores the importance of seeking knowledgeable legal guidance to navigate the divorce process most effectively.